SUGAR SAMMY: A MAN OF STYLE
Since his debut as a comedian, Sugar Sammy has yet to leave anyone feeling indifferent. His allure is as striking as his caustic humour. His Indian origins, childhood in a multiethnic Montreal neighbourhood, and his education in Francophone schools have contributed to his unique appreciation for Canadian culture. He does not hesitate to draw from this position to paint an irreverent, albeit always fair, portrait of our behaviour and our many contradictions. On the eve of his departure for Paris, he let us in on his passion for style and elegance. There is no doubt that his ironic humour will win over the hearts of the French, as well.
By Stéphane Le Duc
Sugar Sammy made his mark in Canada and in the international scene before gaining any success in Quebec. Sammy became known on European, Asian, African, and even Middle Eastern stages for his traditional American stand-up style. It was only a matter of time until he captured the hearts of the people of Quebec. In 2013, he became the first Anglophone artist to bring home that year’s Best Show and Comedian of the Year awards at Quebec’s prestigious Olivier comedy awards. “I’m touched to know that Montrealers and Quebecers identify with my humour. I didn’t think that I’d be in this position, because, only four years ago, I was doing my shows in English abroad; I wasn’t sure that my humour would be pertinent in Quebec. It’s proof that they appreciate my point of view and my vision of Quebec society. The producers didn’t believe in creating a bilingual show, but I felt that people would understand and appreciate this type of show.”
Sugar Sammy is also a man who cares about his image. He belongs to a generation of men concerned about their appearance and the image they project. Very active on social media, he is always aware of the comments he posts and the clothes he wears. Red carpet events don’t scare him. The fact that he wore a different suit to each Canadian award ceremony is proof of his elegance. He wore a low-key business suit to the afternoon ceremony and a more refined Zegna suit to the evening one. “I adapt to each gala. For example, for the Gala Artis, which is a major event, I was in an old Hollywood spirit. I wore a Zegna tuxedo that was fitted, with a bow tie, and an Eton shirt with buttons that were hidden by the lapel of the shirt; I thought it was very chic. For the Olivier, I wore a three-piece suit, because not many people wear them anymore, and I find it funny to make it less formal by putting a silk handkerchief in the pocket instead of wearing a tie. It’s important that I pay attention to detail, because the people who organize these events, with the red carpet and the superb decor, put in a lot of effort, too. We don’t have the opportunity to dress like this everyday, so we should take advantage of it.”
Over the years, Sugar Sammy’s fashion sense has developed, as has his understanding of clothing. Although he tries to be classic, he continues to be more and more daring. “It’s something I learned little by little. When I was at McGill University, I was subscribed to several fashion magazines: GQ, Esquire, Details; there were great rebates for students at the time. Little by little, I absorbed the information, and it became second nature to me. I know enough of the basics to be able to play around with it and to push the boundaries a little further by trying different things. It’s important to have fun with it and take risks.”
In addition to his imposing six foot two stature, Sugar Sammy captures his audience's’ attention with his charisma and fashion choices, which are always elegant but never conservative. Even though men are rarely asked about their clothes in interviews, fashion is a still a mode of seduction for them. Sugar Sammy elaborates, “In fact, in my everyday life I am reserved and timid. It’s only on stage or in front of a camera that it explodes. I find that the most interesting artists are those that give it their all on stage, while retaining a certain anonymity in their daily lives. I am more of an observer, and I am a loyal man. I have a woman in my life. I am happy to no longer have to search for my soul mate, because bar life can be crazy.”
What’s certain is that even if Sugar Sammy’s heart belongs to a beautiful young woman, he will continue breaking the hearts of many more women—or at least keep making them laugh.